Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lightened Up Panzanella

It's Barefoot Thursdays, so you know it's going to be good. Serve this with the Red Wine and Dijon Tri Tip from yesterdays post.....Those resourceful Italian fore bearers of mine were every bit as frugal as I am. No wonder I'm an inveterate penny pincher. The Italian ragazzi weren't about to let a crumb of edible food go to waste- and thus panzanella was born of invention, pluck, and Etruscan thrift. Once you've tried bread salad, you'll start buying extra baguettes and willing them to get stale. It's an ideal use for those day old loaves with the fluorescent stickers on the mournful bakery rack. As with all Ina recipes, folks, I have to lighten them up a little. I know they're wickedly good as is, but well, it's a struggle to keep the zippers zipping and the buttons buttoning, and this with long hard miles on the treadmill daily. (Dorie and Ina, you're killing me softly, and oh how I love it!) For the seam splitting version, click here. For my seam stretching version, see below.
Lightened Up Panzanella
Estimated Cost: $7.00
Money Saving Tips: Go for a day old bread loaf here. Use whatever vegetables you can find for cheap or from your own garden. Ina uses bell peppers also, but I left them out since they were expensive this week. You can also swap the feta (my addition) for mozzarella or Parmesan, or leave it out altogether. Make it a little heartier for dinner by adding cooked garbanzo beans.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups day old multi grain baguette (I love Albertson's version)
2 cloves minced garlic, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided use
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large red tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 thinly sliced red onion
2-4 tablespoons thinly sliced basil
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non stick skillet. Add bread, 2 cloves of garlic, and salt. Cook over medium low heat until bread is crisp, stirring often about 10 minutes; set aside briefly. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining garlic, vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Whisk in olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. To prepare salad, combine tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, basil, bread and dressing. Toss in feta, if desired. Serve within 45 minutes. I'm so glad it's almost Friday. I'm burning the candle at both ends because I love the Olympics.
Coming Tomorrow:
State Fair Favorite
Homemade Corn Dogs and Cheese Doggies

44 comments:

Marie said...

Great looking panzanella and wonderful that it is a lightened up recipe. I shall give this a try!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Just the name panzanella makes me happy! It's such a fun name, isn't it' And yours looks so good!

webbie said...

It looks great! I'll try the lightened up version next time.

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm amazed at the stuff you come up with. It's so cool you're doing this, esp. with food prices going through the roof! Hooray for you!

Beth said...

I love panzanella - the lighter version is a winner with me, been indulging a little bit too much lately!!

Christine said...

Next time I will try the lightened version. You are right Ina and Dorie are killing me too! Great looking salad!

Aggie said...

I love that you added some feta to the salad...I was thinking some cheese would work well with it! Yours look great, love that it's "lightened" up...gotta make it work for us! I can relate on the zipper thing (as I get ready for the gym once again)...

I'm exhausted...another late night cheering for some swimmers and volleyball players! GO USA! : )

Kirsten said...

Yours looks delicious with the multi-grain bread. And I hear you with all the high calorie foods! If only they didn't taste so good.

gigi said...

Excited to hear you got your prize! Hope you enjoy!

I know what you mean by burning the candle, we have enjoyed the Olympics so much! Go USA!

I was very surprized that I had everything to make this recipe except for the bread! I'll pick some up this afternoon when I take Harry to the DR. Thanks and yall have a great day!

Veronica said...

Now I feel guilty for eating the regular version! Yours sounds just as good-I like the idea of using a multigrain bread-I'll bet that was really good.

Mary Ann said...

Prudy,
As always it looks amazing and I love the idea of serving it with some meat, since someone at my dinner table was asking where the meat was. I reduced the amount of oil as well, it seems to work out fine with a little less. YUM!

The DeL Sisters said...

Your so funny........................seam splitting recipe:)
Your version looks fabulous even if it is a little lighter.
I remember eating corn dogs once or twice when I was younger.........maybe I'll have to try them again sometime!

Carmen said...

Yum, your lightened up version sounds just as good! Yes, it's often necessary with Ina's recipes I haven't tried panzanella yet but have been meaning to - your version looks delicious!

Lisa said...

Darn, I just threw out an old loaf of bread the other day. This looks so good and I always forget I can make a panzanella. Love your steak marinade also.

Jenny said...

Looks great girl! Love all the color in panzanella! Barefoot never seems to let us down!

I seriously love homemade corndoggies! Look forward to those pups!

Maria said...

Oh yum! Thanks for lightening it up a bit! I agree, Dorie's book is killing me! I am addicted to sweets! Thanks for a healthy recipe!

Rebecca said...

Yessss, I had to lighten up this one, too. Jeffrey and Ina must own stock in an olive oil company. ;)

1freshstart said...

Mmm.. mmm. Now I wish I had a big bowl of this to munch on. It looks great! I'm sorry you missed the bell peppers, I got a bagfull on my doorstep last night. I'll share!
~The Cat's Pajamas

Leah said...

Oooh, Prudy we must be on the same page. I just made this same recipe last week! I just looooovvveeeee those giant croutons....mmmm. This is one of my most favorite salads!

Vinnie G. said...

Garbanzo beans! Why didn't I think of that? I am going to have make this again with all the great idea I'm getting from everybody's versions!

sliceofsueshe said...

this looks fantastic. a salad with bread instead of lettuce? heck yeah!

Catherine said...

Holy Comment Batman! It's not even 10:00 yet! I love love love panzanella. Yours looks delicious, too! So pretty!

lifeissweet said...

Wonderful salad and you are so smart to lighten up the amount of olive oil!!

Gloria (Canela) said...

Prudy this look absolutely yummy!!!xxxGloria

Meryl said...

We discussed adding cheese as well--I think it would be perfect!

Summer said...

Love the idea of adding the feta. That looks great!

Melissa said...

The feta sounds great!

Anne said...

It looks great Prudy! I agree about lightening up Ina's recipes... you gotta watch out! :)

Courtney said...

i love how thrifty this salad is. you cant bet rounding up so cheap fresh veggies!

Amy said...

I love feta cheese in anything! Can't wait to try this. I was just thinking the other day that I need to make my homemade corn dog recipe. Can't wait to see yours.

Sara said...

What a fun dish! You constantly amaze me with your ideas with these ethnic foods.

Lucy said...

I just love a panzanella, full or light either is just fine with me.... and I'm liking your lighter version better.

Judy said...

We enjoyed this a lot. I think adding feta would make it even more delicious!

Esi said...

Your version looks great!!

Dawn said...

I agree Italians (old school) were frugal, and in some ways still are. My hubbys' parents are Italian and save everything, use everything. They are smart to do so.
This salad of yours looks delish. I will have to try this with all the old bread that gets left behind here.

Sophie said...

I've never heard of panzanella until now! Initially I thought, "wow, those are some impressive croutons" but then I saw this this was a bread salad and was further impressed! What an ingenious idea, so excited to have learned about this! :)

Linds said...

Gorgeous panzanella. While I loved it, I was thinking cheese would be a great addition. I originally thought mozzarella, but I love your idea of feta! Guess, I'll have to try both versions ;)

Gloria (Canela) said...

Hey Prudy If you want to look I post Corn Pie, Pastel de choclo I think you know!!!! xxGloria

Bridgett said...

Delicious as usual, Prudy! I like the use of the feta. That stuff is too good!

hot garlic said...

Hey Prudy! I keep seeing your cute little icon on your comments and I have been meaning to click over for ages but haven't had the time!

What a great site. You must be one of those super organized people with immaculate houses and alphabetized closets and drawers.

Your blog has a lot of personality. That is great!

Shandy said...

I love your version of the Panzanella salad. Your ideas of cheeses has me wishing that I had the forethought to do the same. I didn't BUT this salad was so good and will definitely be made again. Your salad is beautiful and so tasty looking.

Thank you for your comments on my blog. I always look forward to being able to say hi to you. You are such an inspiration! =D

Emily said...

I love Panzanella, my fam loves it when I make it! Your looks soooo Yum-E!

Debinhawaii said...

Love the feta--looks delish!

The Wilkes Week said...

Love that you used a multi grain bread - will definitely try that the next time.
Leigh Anne at yourhomebasedmom.com